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From Rummikub to Rivas, Part Three | Amber Rivas Photography

After our first date, Alex didn’t waste any time. Probably partially because we didn’t HAVE much time. As I mentioned at the end of Part Two, we had approximately eight weeks until graduation, at which point neither of us knew what we were going to do. I was about to receive degrees in math and philosophy, and I hadn’t done so well on the math GRE (I had poison oak during the test, and I may have spent the night before hanging out with Alex, Molly, and Steven instead of getting a good night’s sleep…). Alex on the other hand had passed his EIT exam and was going to officially become an aerospace engineer. I hadn’t applied to many jobs yet, and Alex had applied to a TON. Both of us had plans to move back home with our parents while we continued the job search, and Alex was considering the Navy Officer program as well.

So on May 11, 2013, we had our third date. Alex had told me ahead of time that after the date he wanted to bring me over to his apartment to meet his roommates and to get the full picture of “Right Cheek”, as they had labeled their apartment. I knew he probably wouldn’t bring me over there for no reason, so there was a good chance he’d ask me to officially be his girlfriend sometime during or after dinner.

We went to Silver Dragon where we got a massive amount of Chinese food, and then we went to the trail behind Right Cheek during golden hour. The sunset was beautiful as we walked around holding hands, and I thought to myself, “Ok, now is the PERFECT time for you to ask me out…”

He waited until we were almost back to the apartment complex and said some things that I don’t remember and asked if I would be his girlfriend. Finally! I said, “Okay! I’d like that.”

For the next few weeks, Alex included me in his meticulously organized Google calendar, we spent a lot of weekends together, and we rode the Unitrans bus around just because we could. Taking advantage of the free bus rides while you’re still a student, you know? On May 14th I was baptized at First Baptist Church of Davis, and my family and one of my closest friends came to witness it and got to meet Alex that night. In June, his family came up for graduation and I met them for the first time.

At this point we were still both looking for jobs, and Alex was still pursuing the Navy route. At the advice of some of our college mentors, we decided to just enjoy our summer together while we still had our apartments, and focus on getting to know each other better before the inevitable long distance dating began (Alex is from the Mojave Desert…I told you he’s cooler than I am). We had a lot of adventures! Visiting the state capitol building, going to an air show on the first annual “Surprise Day”, taking the Megabus to Nevada to stay for an hour and get In-N-Out and DQ. At the end of the summer, Alex had packed up everything he owned and put it in his little Yaris. I was beginning to clear out my apartment and getting ready for a tearful good-bye.

Here’s where I truly believe God’s timing is evident. Alex had planned to go home at the end of August, but the Navy recruiter told him it would be better for him to get his physical done in Sacramento before he left. So his travel dates shifted, as the doctor wasn’t available until the next week. He got the physical done, and then on the day of his new departure date he got a call back from a potential employer – somewhere he had long given up on as his resume had been sent in months prior with no response. They were located in Dublin, and they wanted him to come in for an interview THAT week! The only problem was that his apartment lease was up. Wait, no problem! My parents live 20 minutes away from Dublin! Come home with me!

Alex and I left Davis together and went to my parents’ house. He lived on the living room couch for a week, got the job (thank you Jesus!), and then found a place in Livermore to rent through a series of connections that no one has been able to figure out since. Meanwhile, I got an interview at a tech company in the South Bay thanks to a good friend, and they brought me on as an intern. Suddenly in the span of two weeks our prayers had been answered and God provided for our needs. I love telling people about this part of our lives.

But this is getting long, so let’s cut ahead to July 13, 2014. Alex had talked to my dad one weekend while I was in Washington, bought a ring, and planned a trip to Davis. He knew that one of my favorite things about Davis summers are the sunflower fields EVERYWHERE, and we had a fun day planned to visit FBC for church in the morning, hang out with some friends all day, and end the evening at sunset by finding a sunflower field. On our way out of town, we came across one near Pedrick’s fruit stand, and we pulled over to take a look. Most of the sunflowers were looking a little sleepy, but we took some pictures anyway and watched the sunset.

Then Alex got down on one knee and told me how much he loved spending time with me and that he wanted to spend the rest of our lives serving God and loving people together. Instead of saying yes like a normal person, I told him, “Ok!” After all, that was what I responded when he asked me to be his girlfriend! 🙂

We called my family, his family, and a few close friends to give them the news, and then we headed back to the Bay Area to begin the next phase of our lives…wedding planning! We didn’t spend too long dating (one year and a few months), and had an even shorter amount of time being engaged (a little less than a year).

This is what I love about us: because our relationship and our lives are built on Christ and his plan for us, I had no doubts about being with Alex. Although he is probably both the least enthusiastic and least emotional person I know (who would have thought I’d end up with someone like that?), he is also the most caring, supportive, and kind person that I’ve met. I’m blessed because of his presence in my life, and will be forever grateful for the way that God brought us together. He is not the type of person I would have chosen for myself, but he is definitely everything I need in a life partner!

  1. Amy

    May 12th, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    So so sweet! ❤️ God has perfect timing!

  2. Erica Swantek

    May 12th, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Congratulations!!! What an exciting beginning to a wonderful life together!

  3. Mandy

    May 14th, 2019 at 12:33 am

    What a beautiful story. I love how God’s timing is always perfect!!!

  4. jacquelinejonesphotography

    May 14th, 2019 at 11:32 am

    what an awesome journey! You guys are so stinking adorable! <3

  5. Cassandra

    May 14th, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Such a beautiful story! Such an exciting beginning!

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